Castleford Tigers’ under 19s captain Tom Holmes has signed a new one-year deal at the club, keeping him at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle until December 2015.
Pontefract born Holmes, who turned 18 in March, made his first team bow in the pre-season friendly at Dewsbury Rams earlier this year and has since put together a string of impressive performances for the academy side.
Holmes was ecstatic when he found out about the deal and did not need to be asked twice about signing professional terms.
He said: “It is amazing, and I did not expect it being only 18. It is something I have always wanted to do.
“I got told early on in the season that I had impressed the right people and that made me work a bit harder and train even harder.
“A couple of weeks later I had a meeting with Pete Riding (Tigers’ head of youth performance) and he said that Daryl (Powell) was looking to get me in full-time. I did not have to think about it that much, it was a definite ‘yes’ answer.”
Holmes is now looking forward to showcasing his talents in front of head coach Powell more regularly, but he remains focused on the job he has with the academy side.
“I think being here full-time will help me as a player and as a person as well,” he added.
“Getting a game is not something I am thinking about because the team are obviously playing really well and they need all of the points they can in the table.
“If an opportunity did come up, I would put 100% in and take it with two hands.”
Tigers’ head of youth performance Riding believes Holmes has the right attitude to make the grade in the future and that this is the first step in a promising career.
He said: “Tom has all the right attributes to go far in the game.
“He has a great work ethic and a desire to be the best he can be. After impressing this season in the under 19 competition, I am sure he will take this opportunity with both hands.
“Castleford Tigers have a great history in developing young players and giving them an opportunity to play at the highest level. The signing of Tom is further evidence of that.”